Kazahks bring top performers to China shows

Updated: 2013-11-10 07:56

By Mike Peters (China Daily)

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Diplomatic Pouch | Mike Peters

Kazakh Ambassador Nurlan Yermekbayev has been hosting a series of culture days in China, starting with three nights of performances in Beijing that featured the national symphony and the Astana Ballet. VIP guests included China's Minister of Culture Cai Wu and his counterpart from Kazakhstan, Mukhtar Kul-Mukhamed.

The symphony (pictured), in elegant green and white with white fur hats, wowed an enthusiastic crowd with a lively mix of Kazakh, Chinese and Western classics, with soloists ranging from a traditional throat-singer to a modern trio of operatic sopranos: Maira Mukhamedkyzy, Saltanat Akhmetova and Amir Tebenikhin. Akhmetova turned her immense vocal range first to Mozart's Magic Flute including a magical counterpoint with the orchestra's flute players and then repeated the trick in a Kazakh song, Swallows. The musicians have moved on for performances in Shanghai and Urumqi.

The cultural delegation also opened the exhibition Ancient Kazakh Treasures last week at Beijing's National Museum of Art, which boasts more than 400 gold and silver objects and continues through Nov 15.

Kazahks bring top performers to China shows

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Brazil's Vice-President Michel Temer joined Ambassador Valdemar Carniero Leao at Friday's signing ceremony for the sponsors of the Center of Brazilian Studies of the Peking University by Huawei Technologies and Peking University.

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Last week Laszlo Andor, EU commissioner for employment, social affairs and inclusion, visited Shou Yun Mining Co Ltd, an iron-ore mine in Miyun county north of Beijing. The mine is one of six pilot sites of an EU-China project focused on work safety in high-risk areas, including mining, chemical and fireworks industries. Andor met with counterparts in Chinese ministries and also gave lectures on the EU's employment and social policies at the Chinese Academy for Social Sciences and at Renmin University.

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Kazahks bring top performers to China shows

Ambassador Tseggai Tesfazion of Eritrea took center stage at the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan headquarters in Beijing, as his country became the network's 39th member country last week. The celebration also marked the organization's 16th anniversary. "Eritrea is proud to join an organization such as INBAR whose mission is to alleviate poverty by promoting sustainable development of bamboo and rattan, while at the same time protecting the environment," Tesfazion said.

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The Greenlandic Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Jens-Erik Kirkegaard, visited China last week at the invitation of Chinese Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming. Kirkegaard attended the 2013 China Mining Conference and Exhibition, and also visited Jiangxi province to explore future cooperation opportunities between China and Greenland. Danish Ambassador Friis Arne Petersen hosted the minister for a symposium on Greenland in such areas as tourism, food and business. An afternoon reception featured a photo exhibition of Greenland by Wang Jiannan, who has been photographing communities at the Arctic Circle for several years.

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The Sum of Many Parts, an exhibition of American quilts that the US embassy recently presented in a nationwide China tour, opened at the State Historical Museum of Iowa in Des Moines last week. The show continues until Jan 31; after that, an abbreviated version is planned for a two-year tour in the US.

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Kazahks bring top performers to China shows

Cuban cigars and rum. Lithuanian amber. Snakeskin bags from Indonesia. Olive-oil soap from Palestine. Russian pastries and beer. And so much more!

The fifth "Love Knows No Borders" international charity bazaar, hosted by Qian Wei, wife of China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi, raised about 3 million yuan ($492,000), according to the ministry's website. The proceeds will be used to fund a water-source project to solve the drinking water shortage for more than 2,400 villagers in a mountainous county in Yunnan province. Ambassadors, spouses and staff from more than 100 diplomatic missions and international agencies were showing and selling their countries' wares, food and beverages. The event has become so successful that it desperately needs more space - some lunchtime ticket holders had to be turned away because the crowd was so large.

Mo Jingxi contributed to this report.

Send embassy news to michaelpeters@chinadaily.com.cn.

(China Daily 11/10/2013 page5)